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Resilience in Reflection

- 2014

Since January 2014, a part of the new rehabilitation rooms in the Rehabilitation & MS Centre Overpelt has been taken in use. In order to increase the privacy and treatment comfort of the patients, an integrated functional artwork with drawings by Dries Peeten was applied to the glass partitions. This window artwork, which was attached as a plastic film in three layers, offers patients a sense of security. The large windows form the interface between the world inside the rehabilitation rooms and the environment outside.

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Functional artwork

The new rehabilitation rooms are spaciously designed with large windows all around and plenty of light. In order to increase the treatment comfort for the patients, possibilities were considered to minimise the view through the windows from the outside, while maintaining the view from the inside. The idea of a window film that would meet these requirements was born. Soon the link to the government-imposed integrated artwork was made.

Visual artist Dries Peeten was approached and challenged to do this. This young artist (born 1994) was at the time a student of rehabilitation sciences and physiotherapy at the Catholic University of Leuven and was the right person to create the integrated artwork in the new rehabilitation rooms. The project was realised with the technical support of Eric Vanmechelen, director of the North Limburg Institute for Art Education (NIKO), who digitalised the drawings. Kurt Vanendert of KVatelier also contributed significantly. He took care of the printing and application of the foils. Each foil was finally printed in three layers through which the colours of Dries's drawings are visible both on the inside and on the outside. These three layers also ensure that some parts are completely non-transparent and others remain transparent.

"Like the trees in the forest,
the people support each other.
This reflects an intense dynamism and vitality.
We see a reflection of resilience."

- Dries Peeten -

The 19-year-old Dries Peeten was given carte blanche for the design. He was inspired by the woody surroundings and the colours already present. Dries drew dressed and naked bodies in all sorts of techniques and let them merge with the trees. The artwork is too large to be caught in a single glance (106 square metres!) and can therefore be read as a film: a cinematographic approach in a static medium.

Resilience in Reflection 

Dries titled his artwork 'Resilience in Reflection'. The large windows form the interface between the world inside the rehabilitation rooms and the environment outside. Both living environments are reflected and united in the artwork on the glass. The artwork and its surroundings blend into one another, both from the inside to the outside and vice versa. The work can be seen as a projection of vertical structures that can be found in the richly wooded environment. The slender tree trunks offer shelter to the people undergoing rehabilitation. In this way, the work of art embodies its own objective.

The artwork also symbolises the connection between humans and nature. Each patient, depicted partly naked and therefore somewhat vulnerable, has his or her own story, like every tree in the forest. The trees reach out to each other, their branches intertwined. In this way, the forest sustains itself, even during heavy storms. Identically, the people keep each other standing, the care workers and the patients. It is a continuous act of balance. This reflects an intense dynamism and vitality. We see a reflection of resilience.

"The artwork is too large to be caught in a single glance and can therefore be read as a film: a cinematographic approach in a static medium."

- Dries Peeten -

The artwork 'Resilience in Reflection' adds an immaterial value to the new building and thus contributes to the creation of a healing and user-friendly living environment. This is what the Flemish Community aims to achieve with its obligation to spend a part of the construction costs on a piece of art integrated into the building.

Making-of

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